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August 2nd, 2012:

NOW TV Live wish to interview Clear the Air on Air Pollution tomorrow at 10:30am to 11:00am Live

Dear All,

Now TV Live wishes to interview Clear the Air on Air Pollution and recent Hot weather, another guest from WWF.

Tomorrow Morning Live from 10:30am to 11:00am

Any particular issue you want me to bring up during the interview?


Edwin Town

Vice Chair, Clear the Air


James Middleton
2 Aug (3 days ago)
to senkswongCEO, me
Warnings as pollution hits ‘severe’ levels
Lai Ying-kit SCMP
2:34pm, Aug 02, 2012
Roadside air pollution worsened on Thursday, with Central and Mong Kok at times soaring above the “severe” level of 200.  The air pollution index at roadside monitoring stations peaked at 212 in Central at 7am, before falling slightly to the 190s around noon. The index was 200 at Mong Kok at 7am.

When the index hits 200, children and the elderly are advised to avoid physical exertion and outdoor activities.

The reading at Causeway Bay reached 182 on Thursday morning before falling to the 150s in the lead-up to noon. The air pollution indices in the three districts on Thursday morning were higher than their average levels on Wednesday, when the dirty air began to accumulate.  An index above 100 is classified as a “very high” level when people with heart and respiratory conditions are advised to avoid areas with heavy traffic. Three other districts – Kwun Tong, Sham Shui Po and Kwai Chung – also posted “high to very high” levels of air pollution on Thursday morning. The Environmental Protection Department said pollutants were trapped as the wind was light in Hong Kong under the effect of Typhoon Saola.

Clear the Air says:

The typhoon in Taiwan has caused still air in Hong Kong.

With no wind to blow the smog away , bright sunshine is acting on the photo chemical smog from the engine combusted roadside NOx and so ozone is formed.

This shows conclusively that our pollution source is local and the NOx from old diesels and buses  and ozone remain trapped in our developer-friendly overbuilt urban canyons.

Furthermore 31% of our particulates, 27% of Nox and 23% of SOx comes from ocean SHIPPING vessels in and passing by our waters and burning high sulphur bunker fuels (2.75-4%) whilst we force the use of ULSD in street vehicles.

The USA has a 200 mile Emissions Control Area (ECA) for shipping which enforces the use of low sulphur diesel once entering the ECA.

So why not here too ?

Lest we forget : Yet another omission  that Edward Yau must answer for is a lack of follow-up with China to put this ECA in place.  He was too busy travelling the world 59 times in his 60 months term to concentrate on his supposed job here at the so-called Environment Bureau.

From: Professor Anthony Hedley
Sent: 26 July, 2012 16:38
To: Clear the Air
Subject: Re: SCMP Laisee

Things are beginning to move on the NO2 issue in WHO. The medical literature is now replete with studies on health impacts,especially in Maternal and Child Health,with diverse and serious outcomes (leukaemia,congenital heart disease,growth retardation in pregnancy) at levels considerably lower than the

current WHO annual limit. We have also just shown that compliance with the present short term limit (1 hour=200ug/m3) will not achieve the annual limit of 40 in a high pollution environment like HK.So there is a lot to do here.


On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM, CTA > wrote: SCMP Laisee

Kids wheezing Down Under – what about those in HK?

Heat warning well and good, but what about the killer air?


Howard Winn
Aug 02, 2012

Good to see that the observatory issued a hot weather warning yesterday. This advised that, to prevent heat stroke, people should avoid prolonged activities outdoors. If you were outside, you should have been wearing a wide-brimmed hat and light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes and staying in shaded areas as much as possible. The observatory’s press statement urged television and radio to issue the warning as soon as possible. However, it is a shame there was no urgency attached to a far bigger threat – the air pollution levels.

The government’s air pollution index had all pollutants as “very high”. Given that these levels haven’t been adjusted since the 1980s, they are way out of date and way below the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. The Environmental Protection Department’s advice for yesterday’s pollution levels was for children, the elderly and people with existing heart or respiratory illnesses to avoid prolonged stays in areas with heavy traffic and to reduce physical exertion in such areas as far as possible.

According to the department’s website, the respirable suspended particulates (RSP) at roadside level in Central between 8am and 6pm yesterday ranged between 23.9 and 171.7 micrograms per cubic metre (mcm). The WHO guidelines stipulate that, over a 24-hour period, a safe level is 50mcm. Above that level, the pollution begins to affect health.

The Hong Kong government’s 24-hour level is 180mcm. So levels of RSP were as much as three times higher than WHO guidelines, and more. Nitrogen dioxide levels were also high, ranging between 173 and 513mcm, more than twice the WHO guidelines of 200mcm per hour – and thus more than twice the levels at which NO2 begins to affect one’s health. The Hedley Environmental index, which can be found at, was off the scale yesterday, with its pointer past the “very dangerous” level.

We also hear from Professor Anthony Hedley at the University of Hong Kong that the medical literature is now replete with studies on health impacts, especially in maternal and child health, with diverse and serious outcomes such as leukaemia, congenital heart disease and growth retardation in pregnancy at levels considerably lower than the current WHO annual limit. He has recently shown that compliance with the present short-term limits for NO2 will not achieve the annual limit of 40mcm in a high-pollution environment like Hong Kong.

The air pollution we are discussing here is roadside pollution, which is created in Hong Kong and can be tackled by a government with political will. The main sources are buses and trucks with old diesel engines.

The government’s disregard for public health in this area is scandalous, particularly for a territory that likes to style itself as Asia’s world city. We await with some interest to see if the new Environment Bureau chief has any intention of doing something about this